When the summer started, Sarah Harrison didn’t even plan to play in the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Invitational.
After the second day of competition, the 16-year-old Augusta Christian junior sits just four shots off the lead.
On June 27, Harrison finished third at the American Junior Golf Association’s Killington Junior Golf Championship in Vermont, earning an AJGA exemption for two years.
She hadn’t registered for the event at Jones Creek Golf Club, but with her exemption was slated to play in Sunday’s qualifier. That became moot when she got a phone call Saturday telling her there was an open spot.
After shooting 4-over-par 76 on Tuesday, Harrison vaulted into second place with 1-over 73 on Wednesday. She trails leader Dylan Kim, a former Evans resident who now lives in Winter Garden, Fla.
“I’m happy with the way I’ve played,” said Kim, who added that she likes the Jones Creek course. “Today was a little up-and-down. I’m definitely going to keep a level head and have fun tomorrow.”
Harrison was 1-over at the turn after two bogeys and a birdie on the front nine and bogeyed No. 14 after a poor tee shot. The final two holes were representative of her day.
Harrison made an improbable birdie on the par-4 17th.
“I hit a horrible tee shot and a horrible second shot,” said Harrison, who chipped it in with her third shot. “I could see the flag, but I couldn’t see the hole because the green is above where I was trying to hit and I was trying to go over the sand trap. I was just praying to God I was going to get over the trap.”
On the par-4 18th, Harrison hit her second shot to about 5 feet, but her birdie attempt slid by the cup.
“It went fast,” Harrison said. “I thought it would break a little, but it broke a lot.”
Harrison is no stranger to the course and thinks that should work to her advantage.
“It’ll feel good because there should be no reason I should not win this tournament,” Harrison said. “I have more experience on this course than anybody out here.”